Rural Michigan

Articles

This flu season looks deadly. Yet much of Michigan won’t get its shot.

This flu season looks deadly. Yet much of Michigan won’t get its shot.

October 18, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

In much of rural Michigan, and in Detroit, fewer than 20 percent of residents get flu shots, even though the vaccine makes it far less likely that people will die or get seriously ill from the virus.

Caro’s psychiatric hospital is saved. Michigan’s mental health crisis persists.

Caro’s psychiatric hospital is saved. Michigan’s mental health crisis persists.

October 9, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spared a psychiatric hospital whose closure would have devastated the Thumb. But long waiting lists persist statewide, and the hospital’s problems remain.

Tiny school districts to Lansing: Stop acting like ‘middle-schoolers’

Tiny school districts to Lansing: Stop acting like ‘middle-schoolers’

October 7, 2019 | Ron French

Superintendents in some of Michigan’s most isolated districts blame Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Repubican leaders for a budget fight that they say threatens their future and treats students like political pawns.

Rural Michigan sheriffs fear layoffs after Whitmer vetoes road patrol

Rural Michigan sheriffs fear layoffs after Whitmer vetoes road patrol

October 3, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Law enforcement raises alarms after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer axed $13 million for a state grant program that has helped county sheriffs hire road patrol deputies since 1978.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer targets rural Michigan in bid to sway GOP on budgets

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer targets rural Michigan in bid to sway GOP on budgets

October 1, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used her line-item veto power to cut several GOP budget priorities in hopes of restarting negotiations. Rural Michigan is among the hardest hit.

Seeking a cure: The quest to save the Midwest’s rural hospitals

Seeking a cure: The quest to save the Midwest’s rural hospitals

September 30, 2019 | Jennifer Hemmingsen

Small rural hospitals are getting squeezed by competition and market forces, forcing painful consolidations, sales and closures.  Nationwide, 113 rural hospitals have closed in less than a decade.

Rural hospitals in Michigan face a dilemma: Merge or not?

Rural hospitals in Michigan face a dilemma: Merge or not?

September 29, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Rising fiscal challenges force independent Michigan hospitals to seek alliances. They can save the hospitals, but some critics ask at what cost.

In Ironwood, a tiny hospital merged to save itself. Despite fears, it thrived.

In Ironwood, a tiny hospital merged to save itself. Despite fears, it thrived.

September 29, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

For Aspirus Ironwood Hospital, in a sparsely populated former mining region in remote Michigan, merger points to a brighter future.

What’s behind the population boom in rural Michigan jails?

What’s behind the population boom in rural Michigan jails?

August 23, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A state task force could convene on why rural jails hold a greater share of inmates, with more awaiting trial.

An Up North charter is 44 percent subs. You can’t tell difference, supt. says

An Up North charter is 44 percent subs. You can’t tell difference, supt. says

August 7, 2019 | Ron French

At the fast-growing Charlton Heston Academy in St. Helen, nearly half of classrooms were staffed by uncertified, long-term substitutes last year. Superintendent says it’s not ideal, but charter can’t attract certified teachers.

New plans for Michigan psychiatric facility raise more concerns about care

New plans for Michigan psychiatric facility raise more concerns about care

August 5, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Mental health advocates say a decision to keep a Caro psychiatric hospital open doesn't improve Michigan's mental health system.

Rural children more than twice as likely to be homeless in Michigan

Rural children more than twice as likely to be homeless in Michigan

July 25, 2019 | Magdalena Mihaylova

There aren’t enough early childhood education programs in the state to deal with the troubling rate of childhood homelessness, according to a new study. That could have lifelong ramifications.

Rural Michigan needs doctors. Paying their debts may be an answer

Rural Michigan needs doctors. Paying their debts may be an answer

July 22, 2019 | Robin Erb

Lawmakers eye expansion of program that pays student debt of medical professionals who practice in underserved areas, as the Michigan doctor shortage intensifies.

Payday blues: Rural Michigan and the quick-cash debt hole

Payday blues: Rural Michigan and the quick-cash debt hole

June 26, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

With interest rates that can top 400 percent a year, payday lenders sprout in small-town Michigan. Bipartisan legislation in Lansing would rein in lending practices, but there’s no guarantee it will get a hearing.

Suicide, depression on rise in rural Michigan, but psychiatrists are scarce

Suicide, depression on rise in rural Michigan, but psychiatrists are scarce

June 12, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Doctors in the Upper Peninsula and other rural regions report long waits for psychiatric care; child specialists are even harder to find. Can student loan forgiveness for medical residents and telemedicine reduce the gap?

More than a dozen hospitals in rural Michigan at ‘high risk’ of closing

More than a dozen hospitals in rural Michigan at ‘high risk’ of closing

June 12, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A devastating trend shows few signs of slowing, which means longer waits for an ambulance, distant maternity care and a brutal cycle that may lead more residents (and medical workers) to abandon rural communities.

In Alabama, one rural town reached for its wallet to keep its hospital open

In Alabama, one rural town reached for its wallet to keep its hospital open

June 12, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Residents who depended on the hospital in tiny Haleyville agreed to pay hikes in sales and property taxes. Their sacrifice in tax-averse Alabama may portend what it will take to keep other rural medical facilities in business.

Michigan’s UP is full of closed mines. Technology may give them new life

Michigan’s UP is full of closed mines. Technology may give them new life

April 3, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

Upper Peninsula communities struggled when mines shuttered. Now, researchers are studying whether closed mines could be used to store energy, lowering cripplingly high energy costs.

Whitmer’s road funding plan could pit Michigan cities against rural areas

Whitmer’s road funding plan could pit Michigan cities against rural areas

April 1, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed making roads with the heaviest traffic a priority for more than $2 billion in new funding. That’s not going over well in rural Michigan.

How a typo revived a Michigan fish feud over hungry Yoopers and science

How a typo revived a Michigan fish feud over hungry Yoopers and science

March 17, 2019 | Jim Malewitz

A brouhaha over brook trout has bubbled up in Michigan, pitting older anglers against downstate ones and prompting questions about whether science or special interests sets policy.

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